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Nakhon Pathom

Nakhon Pathom is a small province located just 56 km west of Bangkok. The province features an ancient religious structure called Phra Pathom Chedi, the first religious landmark that signified the introduction of Buddhism into Thailand. Nakhon Pathom is also renowned for its abundant fruit varieties and famous regional cuisine. Formerly situated by the sea, the city prospered during the Dvaravati civilization, which existed between the 6th and 11th centuries C.E. According to archaeological findings, Nakhon Pathom was the first city to be exposed to the influence of Buddhism. From the Phra Pathom Chedi and other remains discovered in the city area, it is believed that the city was a center of civilization in that era and that people of different races settled in Nakhon Pathom. However, a change in the course of the river caused a draught that forced the people to migrate, leaving Nakhon Pathom deserted for hundreds of years until the reign of King Rama IV. While His Majesty was in monk-hood, he traveled to Nakhon Pathom and discovered the Phra Pathom Chedi. When King Rama IV ascended to the throne, he commanded that a bell shaped Chedi be built to cover the old Chedi. The surrounding area was also renovated and improved. During the reign of King Rama V, the construction of railways to the south began; King Rama V also commanded that the town be relocated from Tambon Thana, Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi, to the Phra Pathom Chedi area as it used to be. Nakhon Pathom has been there ever since.

An area of great historical importance that features both archaeological and religious treasures, not least of which is Phra Pathom Chedi, the first religious landmark that signified the introduction of Buddhism to Thailand, Nakhon Pathom has a number of attractions that make it a fine day trip or stopping point on the way to or from Kanchanaburi. Most of Nakhon Pathom consists of plains with no mountainous land, though a plateau rises up in the west. The plains along the Tha Cheen River (Nakhon Chaisi River) are the location of Amphoe Nakhon Chaisi, Amphoe Sam Phran, and Amphoe Bang Len. These fertile lands provide agricultural opportunities for the people, thus most of the residents earn their living from agriculture, plantations and farms growing food crops as well as fruit orchards. In fact, Nakhon Pathom is well known for pomelo, a fruit much like a grapefruit, and some Thais call Nakhon Pathom the sweet pomelo town.

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